Wednesday, 2 March 2011

What was it better to be, a forgotten Libyan or a saved Iraqi?

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We forgot about the Libyans, Egyptians and Tunisians suffering under tyrants and we went to war to save the Iraqis from Saddam. What was it better to be, a forgotten North African or a saved Iraqi?

The question is rhetorical of course yet Adam Lebor oddly thought it was better to be a liberated Iraqi than a Libyan.

Gaddafi has mustard gas and people talk about an intervention by NATO. Weapons of mass destruction. We are all neo-cons now. But Gaddafi is more of an immediate danger to his people than Saddam in 2003 and is anyhow collapsing or so I hope. A no-fly zone might work. And who to replace Gaddafi? The monarchy seems the best option to me. King Idris was a Sufi and loyal friend to England. The monarchy has a legitimacy that republics lack even if they are democratic which in tribal societies they cannot be. The hereditary principle is something deep in the race. Witness Mubarak and Gaddaffi intending their sons to succeed them while in Tunisia the Tunisian President's stepson handed out the contracts and his daughter pollinated the malls of Dubai in a  frenzy of shopping.

History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. (Edward Gibbon.) Libya, Egypt, Iraq, etc., etc., etc. Why do people expect it to be otherwise?

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